Expansion Is the AFL good for footy?

Which league format do you support?

  • Fixed League

  • Divisional System


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Thread starter #1
It could be argued that the AFL administration are a law unto themselves. An unelected elite of football technocrats, who are acting much like an AFL Kremlin.

The AFL chose to pursue the American NFL franchise system rather than the English Premier League divisional system.

I think it could be argued that the Premier League model evokes greater passions from supporters of clubs sitting on either ends of the ladder.

Is it time for the AFL open up the competition?

Basically, what are your thoughts on:
- the draft
- a divisional league structure
- creation of franchise clubs

Is the AFL screwing us?

And then there's GCS.......
I'm sure that will bite soon.

I welcome your views.
 

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Gigantor

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#2
It could be argued that the AFL administration are a law unto themselves. An unelected elite of football technocrats, who are acting much like an AFL Kremlin.

The AFL chose to pursue the American NFL franchise system rather than the English Premier League divisional system.

I think it could be argued that the Premier League model evokes greater passions from supporters of clubs sitting on either ends of the ladder.

Is it time for the AFL open up the competition?

Basically, what are your thoughts on:
- the draft
- a divisional league structure
- creation of franchise clubs

Is the AFL screwing us?

And then there's GCS.......
I'm sure that will bite soon.

I welcome your views.
Australian Football is older than soccer, why would we give a damn about how English soccer works?

In soccer a 3rd or 4th tier club can play the very best club in the land and still be competitive (as happens often in the FA cup). That's the nature of the game. In Australia, that would be the equivalent of the Queanbeyan reserves playing an AFL club.

Do you know what kind of thrashing that would be? Australian Football is not the sort of game where you can pit semi-professionals against the top tier.

So one thing I can say with absolute certainty - there will never, ever be promotion and relegation in the AFL.
 
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Thread starter #3
Australian Football is older than soccer, why would we give a damn about how English soccer works?

In soccer a 3rd or 4th tier club can play the very best club in the land and still be competitive (as happens often in the FA cup). That's the nature of the game. In Australia, that would be the equivalent of the Queanbeyan reserves playing an AFL club.

Do you know what kind of thrashing that would be? Australian Football is not the sort of game where you can pit semi-professionals against the top tier.

So one thing I can say with absolute certainty - there will never, ever be promotion and relegation in the AFL.
So you think it is fair that Tasmania or the Northern Territory does not have a team in our competition, but instead we favour the creation of a speculative franchise clubs like Gold Coast?
Why not allow Queanbeyan or Southport if viable, to enter a 3rd division AFL comp, and let them work their way up, organically? If they cant find the local support, then they do not have what it takes. Im sure Tasmania or Darwin, or Ballarat, or Bendigo, or Albury or East Perth or Mildura or Cairns could field a viable div 2/3 side.

I can say with certainty, that you have not thought this issue thru.
 

NoobPie

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#4
So you think it is fair that Tasmania or the Northern Territory does not have a team in our competition, but instead we favour the creation of a speculative franchise clubs like Gold Coast?
Why not allow Queanbeyan or Southport if viable, to enter a 3rd division AFL comp, and let them work their way up, organically? If they cant find the local support, then they do not have what it takes. Im sure Tasmania or Darwin, or Ballarat, or Bendigo, or Albury or East Perth or Mildura or Cairns could field a viable div 2/3 side.

I can say with certainty, that you have not thought this issue thru.
I think Gigantor has "thought this thru" a lot more than you have

For a start, I don't know what you mean by "the AFL chose to pursue the American NFL franchise system". The VFL broke away from the VFA in 1897 and has had a closed league ever since. The SANFL and WAFL, AFAIK, never had pro/rel. The AFL today is an evolution of a closed league formed 122 years ago, long before the NFL was a thing and before english soccer had fully adopted merit based pro/rel.

What the AFL has copied from the NFL and american sport are the equalisation measures such as salary caps and draft systems. I would say these are overall working very very well and is part of the reason the AFL is so dominant. They result in relatively competitively balanced competition and they mean the game has 10s of millions to invest in game development.

In terms of divisional systems with promotion and relegation, there is a reason that, for the large part, soccer is the only professional sport that it is wide spread in. The nature of the game tolerates large differences in team capability while retaining uncertainty of outcome. It also exists in geographically smaller countries with more dense populations.

Australian football needs competitive balance and Australia is a sparsely populated continent. The history of the game is one of city leagues, with the bigger the city the bigger the leagues. This is true of the VFL, SANFL and WAFL, and it is also true of Mildura, Albury and Cairns. They are not one big club itching to "organically" "work their way up" some mythical league system. They are uni-divisional league system of clubs some of which have century-plus old rivalries.

Whether of not it is "fair" that Tasmania doesn't have a team has nothing to do with closed league versus pro/rel. If they were to have a team it would be because a club is formed with the intention of it competing in the AFL through the receipt of a licence to do so.
 
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Thread starter #5
I think Gigantor has "thought this thru" a lot more than you have

For a start, I don't know what you mean by "the AFL chose to pursue the American NFL franchise system". The VFL broke away from the VFA in 1897 and has had a closed league ever since. The SANFL and WAFL, AFAIK, never had pro/rel. The AFL today is an evolution of a closed league formed 122 years ago, long before the NFL was a thing and before english soccer had fully adopted merit based pro/rel.

What the AFL has copied from the NFL and american sport are the equalisation measures such as salary caps and draft systems. I would say these are overall working very very well and is part of the reason the AFL is so dominant. They result in relatively competitively balanced competition and they mean the game has 10s of millions to invest in game development.

In terms of divisional systems with promotion and relegation, there is a reason that, for the large part, soccer is the only professional sport that it is wide spread in. The nature of the game tolerates large differences in team capability while retaining uncertainty of outcome. It also exists in geographically smaller countries with more dense populations.

Australian football needs competitive balance and Australia is a sparsely populated continent. The history of the game is one of city leagues, with the bigger the city the bigger the leagues. This is true of the VFL, SANFL and WAFL, and it is also true of Mildura, Albury and Cairns. They are not one big club itching to "organically" "work their way up" some mythical league system. They are uni-divisional league system of clubs some of which have century-plus old rivalries.

Whether of not it is "fair" that Tasmania doesn't have a team has nothing to do with closed league versus pro/rel. If they were to have a team it would be because a club is formed with the intention of it competing in the AFL through the receipt of a licence to do so.
VAFA works.

The AFL, and your style of thinking will be exposed when GCS pops. If 36 licenses under a 3 division structure was intriduced instead of the hotch potch we have now, and players were able to play for who they wanted to, we would have a much stronger, more diverse and rich national football league.
 

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#6
VAFA works.

The AFL, and your style of thinking will be exposed when GCS pops. If 36 licenses under a 3 division structure was intriduced instead of the hotch potch we have now, and players were able to play for who they wanted to, we would have a much stronger, more diverse and rich national football league.
VAFA is purely amateur. Then there are other suburban and city leagues with multi divisions and pro rel but none professional or that span larger geographic areas.

Introducing pro rel over, and 36 clubs with 3 divisions, assuming you are getting rid of salary caps in the process, would result in a cost explosion for a start

How does GCS "pop"? You actually don't understand the current model you call "hotch potch". The AFL alone had three quarters of a billion in revenues last year, in the first year of a six year tv rights deal. With the salary caps and football department caps it has a huge control of the games costs. How does paying GCS an extra $10m to $15m a year pose any existential threat?
 
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Thread starter #7
VAFA is purely amateur. Then there are other suburban and city leagues with multi divisions and pro rel but none professional or that span larger geographic areas.

Introducing pro rel over, and 36 clubs with 3 divisions, assuming you are getting rid of salary caps in the process, would result in a cost explosion for a start

How does GCS "pop"? You actually don't understand the current model you call "hotch potch". The AFL alone had three quarters of a billion in revenues last year, in the first year of a six year tv rights deal. With the salary caps and football department caps it has a huge control of the games costs. How does paying GCS an extra $10 to $15 a year pose any existential threat?
I would keep a strict salary cap, but free up everything else.
 
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#10
As I've said elsewhere, I don't think divisions makes sense beyond state leagues, and even then, it doesn't really work. We simply don't have the population or density to support a true football pyramid.

I do think, however, that state leagues should be supreme, rather than a tier below the supposedly national AFL.
 
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Thread starter #11
Does each division have a seperate salary cap?

What happens when a team gets relegated?
No, just 1salary cap overall. If carlton drops to division 2, they should have the right to try and keep all their players, even though TV revenue and crowds/membership will drop in the first half of the season, but would increase as they drive for finals to re enter division 1.
 

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#12
VAFA works.[Because its Clubs are amateur, & financially very sound]

The AFL, and your style of thinking will be exposed when GCS pops. [GC will never depart -too important for growth of AF!] If 36 licenses under a 3 division structure was intriduced instead of the hotch potch we have now, and players were able to play for who they wanted to, we would have a much stronger, more diverse and rich national football league[No, the richest 5-6 Clubs would permanently dominate. Fan interest/crowds/Ratings would dissipate].
The VAFA is by far Aust.'s biggest & most successful adult AF comp. It has approx. the same no. of players as the other 8 geographic Melb. Leagues combined -& "the VAFA works" because:-

.Whilst subjective, most believe it has the best adult AF culture in Aust.-& that has been its reputation since the 1890's. "Good sportsmanship" & "For The Love Of The Game" (latter is its official motto) are not just cliches. It was the first comp. to introduce the order- off Rule. It is the only comp. in Aust. that umpires can award a free kick against a team, if there are clearly identifiable CLUB officials/ fans who are loudly abusing umpires (after an official verbal warning to the coach).

.It is the only adult comp. in Aust. that bans the sale of alcohol during games, or fans bringing alcohol to games. Unfortunately, perhaps 1-3% of alcohol-affected fans become very disruptive/unpleasant at AF matches.

.It has the lowest % of players leaving to play at other clubs (Other Leagues often have dissatisfaction/disputes about player monetary "ranking"; & payments/player underperformance issues). It has the highest % (& raw nos.) of ex-players attending Club ex-player functions & reunions.

.MOST importantly, the vast majority of VAFA clubs are financially sound -as it does not permit players to be paid.

Your AFL "free market" P & R approach would undoubtedly (based on history) lead to many Clubs going broke/dying, overspending trying to win premierships; & high player turnover -which reduces tribalism/fan interest.
Also, it would lead to a very one-sided & boring AFL -dominated by a few of the richest AFL Clubs. The AFL has wisely adopted the NFL "competitive balance" arrangements with Drafts, Salary caps etc.; & the "Any Given Sunday" approach where, ideally, all teams can be reasonably competitive against the top AFL Clubs.

GC's future is assured. There are many AF fans from Vic., SA, WA, & Tas. living there, & GR AF there is booming (GR AF nos. are very close to RL GR nos. on the GC!).
When GC was competitive, it was getting 20,000 + excellent crowds -more than the NRL Titans. Suggesting Qld., pop. c. 5,000,000+, should only have 1 AFL Club is absurd-you obviously do not have a business background or deep understanding.

Due to the increasing strength/standards of private secondary school AF in Melb. (& related VAFA "job networking/business promotion" opportunities!), these private schools (& Melb .Uni. -full of country AF males who come to MU to study) dominate Premier & Premier B Divisions. Thus, there is less "fluidity" of Clubs in Premier Division & Premier B that your seeming free-market approach suggests would occur. The geographic-based Clubs are virtually excluded from reaching Premier & Premier B, so strong has Private school AF become.

I assume you are a soccer supporter -correct?
 
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NoobPie

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#13
No, just 1salary cap overall. If carlton drops to division 2, they should have the right to try and keep all their players, even though TV revenue and crowds/membership will drop in the first half of the season, but would increase as they drive for finals to re enter division 1.
Well having a uniform salary cap removes whatever complex and almost certainly unworkable system would be needed to facilitate different salary caps for each division.

Beyond that though the uniform salary cap (presuming it is no less than the current level) exacerbates the massive problem with this system - it would be extraordinarily expensive.

Currently there are 18 teams spending ~$13M on TPPs, say roughly $230M, which with football department caps gets up to $400M

Lets assume the top tier stays at this level at a cost of roughly $280M.

What is realistic estimate for the 2nd division? The teams coming down from the top division would presumably be operating at that level in the first instance at least which means "aspirant" clubs will want to be spending a fair chunk of that expenditure. Lets be generous and assume that on average the second tier has roughly 2/3rds of the FD spend of the first tier and spends $180M in total.

Well rooky here we are already $60M north of the current model before even considering the third tier. The third tier (whoever that includes) assuming some how it can exist on half the football department spend of the second tier would cost a further $90M.

We now have a system that costs $150M more which we moved to because we woz worrying about Gold Coast "popping" because they are costing a premium of $12M a year. Hmmmm

I'm also fascinated to know which teams will be included in this three divisional league. You mentioned mildura before but which club in Mildura? There are 9 clubs in the Sunraisya FL of which apparently 6 of them are Mildura based (including suburbs) with the other three in nearby smaller towns. The premier came from one of those smaller towns. Do you think the people of Mildura feel like they are missing out on something? Or perhaps they are pretty content with their football culture?
 

Gigantor

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#14
Well having a uniform salary cap removes whatever complex and almost certainly unworkable system would be needed to facilitate different salary caps for each division.

Beyond that though the uniform salary cap (presuming it is no less than the current level) exacerbates the massive problem with this system - it would be extraordinarily expensive.

Currently there are 18 teams spending ~$13M on TPPs, say roughly $230M, which with football department caps gets up to $400M

Lets assume the top tier stays at this level at a cost of roughly $280M.

What is realistic estimate for the 2nd division? The teams coming down from the top division would presumably be operating at that level in the first instance at least which means "aspirant" clubs will want to be spending a fair chunk of that expenditure. Lets be generous and assume that on average the second tier has roughly 2/3rds of the FD spend of the first tier and spends $180M in total.

Well rooky here we are already $60M north of the current model before even considering the third tier. The third tier (whoever that includes) assuming some how it can exist on half the football department spend of the second tier would cost a further $90M.

We now have a system that costs $150M more which we moved to because we woz worrying about Gold Coast "popping" because they are costing a premium of $12M a year. Hmmmm

I'm also fascinated to know which teams will be included in this three divisional league. You mentioned mildura before but which club in Mildura? There are 9 clubs in the Sunraisya FL of which apparently 6 of them are Mildura based (including suburbs) with the other three in nearby smaller towns. The premier came from one of those smaller towns. Do you think the people of Mildura feel like they are missing out on something? Or perhaps they are pretty content with their football culture?
That Mildura example is a good one.

Similarly, one of the very best leagues outside of the VFL/SANFL/WAFL is the Ovens and Murray League, straddling two states. The bigger towns contribute at least two teams. Are these clubs more interested in advancing to some imaginary, non-existent league, or are they striving to beat their century-old rivals and be the top dog in a very good competition.
 

NoobPie

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#15
That Mildura example is a good one.

Similarly, one of the very best leagues outside of the VFL/SANFL/WAFL is the Ovens and Murray League, straddling two states. The bigger towns contribute at least two teams. Are these clubs more interested in advancing to some imaginary, non-existent league, or are they striving to beat their century-old rivals and be the top dog in a very good competition.
I would say the Ovens and Murray and surrounds is a more telling example

There are 5 teams from Albury - Wodonga in the Ovens and Murray as well as 2 in Wang. There are also clubs from these cities playing in several surrounding smaller leagues which a predominantly constituted by clubs from smaller towns such as:
-Talangatta and District
-Hume
-Ovens and King
-Upper Murray

What's more, the adjacent Goulburn valley football league is closely matched in quality (currently ranked 6th, O and M is 4th of all Victorian football leagues). The furthest clubs between these two leagues are only about two hours apart. There are multiple smaller leagues servicing the goulburn valley footprint (such as Piccolo and district, heathcote and district, Kyabram and district, Murray FL)

How do people who believe that "big football pyramids" are the natural order of things and "organically climbing" these pyramids is the reason detre of football clubs explain why north east Victoria hasn't evolved to organise all these clubs under a 6 to 8 division structure?
 

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#16
So you think it is fair that Tasmania or the Northern Territory does not have a team in our competition, but instead we favour the creation of a speculative franchise clubs like Gold Coast?
Why not allow Queanbeyan or Southport if viable, to enter a 3rd division AFL comp, and let them work their way up, organically? If they cant find the local support, then they do not have what it takes. Im sure Tasmania or Darwin, or Ballarat, or Bendigo, or Albury or East Perth or Mildura or Cairns could field a viable div 2/3 side.

I can say with certainty, that you have not thought this issue thru.
How can you fund, run & manage a 3rd or 2nd division? Whats the mechanism for getting into the AFL?
 
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Thread starter #17
How can you fund, run & manage a 3rd or 2nd division? Whats the mechanism for getting into the AFL?
Television, radio and internet broadcast rights, could be negotiated on a divisional level. For example, all revenue from Division 1 broadcast rights would be distributed amongst the Div1 clubs equally. Same with Div2 and Div3.

Being a Melbourne supporter, I can assure you that crowds and ratings would be much higher if we were winning Div2 football compared to the horror of the Neeld years, where we were smashed week in week out. There was very little joy, and we should have been allowed to naturally fall to div2 and the organically rebuild.
 
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Thread starter #18
How can you fund, run & manage a 3rd or 2nd division? Whats the mechanism for getting into the AFL?
Television, radio and internet broadcast rights, could be negotiated on a divisional level. For example, all revenue from Division 1 broadcast rights would be distributed amongst the Div1 clubs equally. Same with Div2 and Div3.

The basis of entering the divisional national competition would primarily be based on economics and support. If a team could financially support itself, then it could nominate for entry. This would naturally evoke a response from political aspirants who would float a team in the afl in for political votes. For example, a political leader may rise up in Darwin, with a policy of starting a Darwin football club and building a stadium that could cater for a 'super team' in Darwin, similar to the formation of the crows or eagles OR a local businessman might stand up and put their weight behind a old historical club like North Hobart or williamstown or St Mary's.

If a club has the financial capability to sustain itself in Div3, then it can nominate to enter the league.

A VOTE would be cast by presidents of all the existing clubs in the AFL and entry would be permitted or not, then the AFL office would administer the entry.

The AFL would have no say in the matter. It would be a democratic vote by the club presidents only.

If clubs all over the land start nominating, then simply the number of clubs in each division would increase.

If a club goes bankrupt, they exit the league. Simple. No hand outside from the AFL, no bail outs, no special draft concessions. A bit like the Dandenong Redlegs in the VFA.

I am a Melbourne supporter, I can suggest that crowds and ratings and internal club revenue would have been much higher if we were winning Div2 football compared to the horror of the Neeld years, where we were smashed week in week out. There was very little joy, and we should have been allowed to naturally fall to div2 and the organically rebuild.
 

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I am a Melbourne supporter, I can suggest that crowds and ratings and internal club revenue would have been much higher if we were winning Div2 football compared to the horror of the Neeld years, where we were smashed week in week out. There was very little joy, and we should have been allowed to naturally fall to div2 and the organically rebuild.
not a chance in hell, you're having a laugh
 
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Thread starter #20
That Mildura example is a good one.

Similarly, one of the very best leagues outside of the VFL/SANFL/WAFL is the Ovens and Murray League, straddling two states. The bigger towns contribute at least two teams. Are these clubs more interested in advancing to some imaginary, non-existent league, or are they striving to beat their century-old rivals and be the top dog in a very good competition.
This is a very good point. I'm unsure of the answer.
But I would suggest that if a politician floated an idea of a side in Albury for example, to enter the AFL in a division 2 capacity, and possibly play local games against Carlton or StKilda, then a local stadium of 25,000 would be packed to the brim. Imagine a Wayne Carey and Longmire taking their local regional club towards div1. The town would become electric and almost create an regional economic boom.

Geelong has 250,000 people and they have a superclub. Albury has over 100,000 people, I'm sure the area could support a high quality div2 side, with 15,000 members.

I'd probably prefer watching Albury vs Darwin compared to GWS vs GC anyway.
 

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#21
This is a very good point. I'm unsure of the answer.
But I would suggest that if a politician floated an idea of a side in Albury for example, to enter the AFL in a division 2 capacity, and possibly play local games against Carlton or StKilda, then a local stadium of 25,000 would be packed to the brim. Imagine a Wayne Carey and Longmire taking their local regional club towards div1. The town would become electric and almost create an regional economic boom.

Geelong has 250,000 people and they have a superclub. Albury has over 100,000 people, I'm sure the area could support a high quality div2 side, with 15,000 members.

I'd probably prefer watching Albury vs Darwin compared to GWS vs GC anyway.
The problem is, their's nothing in it for the AFL. It may be a good idea for Australian football, but the AFL are clearly concerned mainly with looking after their Victorian league background, the associated benefits to the Victorian economy & their recent Northern State ventures.

A divisional system wouldn't benefit any of those AFL concerns.

Anyway, can you really see old VFL clubs accepting a system where they can be demoted? Really?
 
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The problem is, their's nothing in it for the AFL. It may be a good idea for Australian football, but the AFL are clearly concerned mainly with looking after their Victorian league background, the associated benefits to the Victorian economy & their recent Northern State ventures.

A divisional system wouldn't benefit any of those AFL concerns.

Anyway, can you really see old VFL clubs accepting a system where they can be demoted? Really?
That's the point!

The current AFL corporate entity have an agenda!

They are influenced by factions that dwell deep within Victorias political and business hierarchies. This is highlighted by their almost fundamentalist stance towards equalization. You would assume Carlton would be fuming. Before big afl government assumed control, they had the support and funding to dominate the league. If ever a club required a new John Elliot and a moto like Make Carlton Great Again, well then, they should be allowed to do it. The draft system is preventing them. It restricts freedom!

I am not an outright free market neo con, I do believe in a stringent 'player only' salary cap. But that is it! Everything else is fair game. That means, entry into our league is fair game, if your good enough to sustain it.

What the AFP has done is denied entry into its exclusive group. You have got to ask yourself, who exactly asked for gws and gc? Who?
A greedy man called Dimetriou, that's who.

To favour a speculative GC over proven Tasmania, is pure greed. They estimated that Gold Coast was a safer choice than Tasmania, and where backed by local political officials and that a stadium would be built to cater for the rapid growth.

Great negotiations in obtaining the rights to sell more broadcast rights on a new stadium. But truth has it, it doesn't scratch the surface compared to the Tasmanian football community that has enormous natural resources, both in quality football pedigree and natural resources, it could be argued that the AFL snub on Tas could be artificially suppressing the local economy and potential to retain incredibly talented local players. Imagine Tasmania having it's own little football fortress. Great place, but ******* cold!
 

madmug

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#25
That's the point!

The current AFL corporate entity have an agenda!

They are influenced by factions that dwell deep within Victorias political and business hierarchies. This is highlighted by their almost fundamentalist stance towards equalization. You would assume Carlton would be fuming. Before big afl government assumed control, they had the support and funding to dominate the league. If ever a club required a new John Elliot and a moto like Make Carlton Great Again, well then, they should be allowed to do it. The draft system is preventing them. It restricts freedom!

I am not an outright free market neo con, I do believe in a stringent 'player only' salary cap. But that is it! Everything else is fair game. That means, entry into our league is fair game, if your good enough to sustain it.

What the AFP has done is denied entry into its exclusive group. You have got to ask yourself, who exactly asked for gws and gc? Who?
A greedy man called Dimetriou, that's who.

To favour a speculative GC over proven Tasmania, is pure greed. They estimated that Gold Coast was a safer choice than Tasmania, and where backed by local political officials and that a stadium would be built to cater for the rapid growth.

Great negotiations in obtaining the rights to sell more broadcast rights on a new stadium. But truth has it, it doesn't scratch the surface compared to the Tasmanian football community that has enormous natural resources, both in quality football pedigree and natural resources, it could be argued that the AFL snub on Tas could be artificially suppressing the local economy and potential to retain incredibly talented local players. Imagine Tasmania having it's own little football fortress. Great place, but ******* cold!
The AFL play in Canberra, Ballarat & Launceston, all colder in Winter than Hobart. Indeed Melbourne can be just as chilly when it wants to be.

Whtever the merits & benefits for the game, the AFL would never come at it. Not interested in much outside themselves.
 
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